Lori Berenson, who was convicted of acting as an accomplice to terrorism in 2001 for helping the leftist Tupac Amaru rebel group in Peru, was scheduled to fly home to New York with her toddler son on Friday. But Peruvian Migration stopped Berenson from boarding the flight. After three days of confusion and some additional paperwork, Berenson has finally been cleared to return to the United States.
Lori Berenson’s father, Mark, told the Associated Press:
“She called and said, ‘I’ve got the permission to leave’ and the next step is for her to get on a plane and get here. I’m just glad they finally resolved the thing.”
Mark said that he went to sleep Friday night expecting to pick up his daughter in the morning. Instead, Mark received a phone call saying that Lori would not be leaving Peru and that she needed to get an “exit order.”
Her attorney and ex-husband, Anibal Apari, said:
“She showed them the order from the court that lifted the ban on leaving the country… They have invented (the requirement for an exit order because) no such document exists since leaving the country is not up to the immigration service, it is up to the judicial branch, and it has ruled.”
The Associated Press reports that Lori and her two-year old son Salvador, were seen this morning with two officials from the US Embassy at Peru’s immigration office.
Berenson has been in prison in Peru since 1995. The Wall Street Journal reports that Berenson was arrested in 1995 and sentenced by a military court of hooded judges to life in prison in 1996. After pressure from the United States, Berenson was retried in a civilian trial where she received a sentence of 20-years.